Court rejects appeal in Durham murder case
The N.C. Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from Roger Lee Evans Jr., who was convicted in June 2012 of shooting and killing one man, and shooting and wounding two brothers during a robbery.
One of the brothers was paralyzed in the shooting and then suffered a stroke causing him to lose part of his sight. The other brother was shot in the hand.
The incident occurred on June 28, 2010, when Evans planned to rob Salvador Vallerio Cantera in Cantera’s apartment at the Pinecrest Apartments. A woman, Tracey Renee Elliott, went into the apartment first and pretended to be interested in an amorous relationship with Cantera. Once inside, she text-messaged Evans to let him know where Cantera was and where two brothers were in the apartment.
Evans came inside, attempted to rob Cantera and ended up in a physical fight with Cantera and the two brothers. Evans fired shots during the struggle that killed Cantera and wounded the two brothers.
Evans testified that he wasn’t planning to rob Cantera, rather it was a drug deal gone bad, and when Cantera wouldn’t pay him for some marijuana, he took $10 from one of the brothers’ wallets, which caused the brothers to attack him. He then fired shots and left the apartment.
In his appeal, Evans, 29, claimed that when the judge gave the jury instructions on the numerous charges he faced, he omitted giving instructions on self-defense for some of the offenses, including felony murder, second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
“All of the defendant’s arguments pertaining to the lack of an instruction relating to self-defense in the final mandates are without merit,” the Court of Appeals ruled.